Sevilla vs Athletic Bilbao Preview
La Liga has returned from the break with a set of mid-week games. One encounter that will excite even the neutral fans will take place at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium on Thursday, January 4, where Sevilla will host Athletic Bilbao. The kick-off is scheduled for 7:15 pm local time.
While the visitors are in top form at the moment and pushing for UEFA Champions League spots, the Andalusians are in a deep crisis. However, incoming manager Quique Sanchez Flores has shown promising signs so far, and we will take that into account in our Sevilla vs Athletic Bilbao prediction.
Sevilla are currently 16th in the La Liga standings with 16 points, just one point above the relegation zone. The Andalusians have a record of 23 goals scored and 25 conceded.
Quique Sanchez Flores is the third manager to try his luck at Sevilla this term, taking charge of the team on December 18. So far, he has led the club to a 3-0 home win over Granada and a 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid on the road.
The hosts have indeed looked better under the new coach, which should influence the Sevilla vs Athletic Bilbao tips. At the same time, we cannot ignore their poor form since the start of the 2023/24 campaign.
Athletic Bilbao Preview
Girona has undoubtedly been the story of the season in La Liga but we should not overlook Athletic Bilbao either. Ernesto Valverde is once again making the Basques a force to be reckoned with in Spain.
Athletic currently sit fifth in the table with 35 points, three points below UEFA Champions League spots. They have scored 34 and conceded 19 goals in the 18 matches to date and are unbeaten in the league since October.
Despite the better form, though, the Sevilla vs Athletic Bilbao odds do not entirely reflect the Basques’ superiority. In case of a win on Thursday, the visitors could climb into the top four.
Betting Tips Sevilla vs Athletic Bilbao
Both teams to score? Yes
Neither the hosts nor the visitors can afford to sit back and defend on Thursday, and that is why our first Sevilla vs Athletic Bilbao prediction is both teams scoring. Bet365 gives 1.90 odds on it to happen.
Like we have mentioned, the Andalusians are just one point above the relegation zone and they cannot afford to drop points two games in a row. Since they are playing at home, the fans will push the team forward from the very first minute. While a win may be too much to ask from Quique’s men, they should be able to at least score once.
As for Athletic, they can overtake Atletico Madrid in the standings if they beat Sevilla by more than two goals. Valverde’s disciples will certainly keep that in mind and try to punish the hosts for the free spaces they will inevitably leave behind.
Over 2.5 goals
Continuing with the same line of thinking, we predict at least three goals at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium. The odds on over 2.5 goals stand at 2.07 on Bet365.
Both Sevilla and Athletic are rather conservative in their approach. Thus, there have been over three goals in just two of the Andalusians’ last five La Liga encounters. In Bilbao’s case, the 4-0 win over Rayo Vallecano is the only game with over three goals in recent weeks.
However, we believe that the match on Thursday will be an exception in this regard since the two teams are under immense pressure for opposite reasons. The likelihood of a high-scoring game will increase if somebody manages to score an early goal as it will motivate the rivals to retaliate immediately instead of playing it safe and hope for a chance to equalise late into the game.
Over 5.5 cards
Goals aside, the clash between Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao could result in a high number of bookings. Bet365 offers 1.66 odds on over 5.5 cards in the match.
The Andalusians will be the main driver, of course. Regardless of who coaches them in recent months, Sevilla tend to commit a high number of fouls because they struggle with defending in transition. Thus, they have seen 12 cards in the last five games.
The Basques are less aggressive and have thus seen just five yellow cards in the meantime. Nevertheless, we should note that Athletic can get out of hand if the rivals invite them to fight. Their five cards against Getafe or four cards against Villarreal proves our point. And since fouls are second nature for Sevilla, we can see a scenario in which the match on Thursday will lead to quite a few bookings on both sides.
Please remember that our Sevilla vs Athletic Bilbao tips are only suggestions, not a call to action. Always rely on your own judgement in the end.